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SINGAPORE, Feb 17 — The first shipment of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Singapore this afternoon, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said. This was ahead of its expected delivery next month.The Moderna vaccine was granted interim authorisation for use here earlier this month. At that time, MOH said that it had expected the first shipment of the vaccine to arrive in March.
In a news release, the ministries said that the vaccine shipment reached here onboard a Singapore Airlines (SIA) aircraft at about 1.40pm.In a separate news release, the national carrier said that the Moderna shipment was carried on board flight SQ7137 — a scheduled freighter service — from Brussels in Belgium.
“The vaccines were prioritised for loading into the aircraft in Brussels and were given precedence during unloading in Singapore. They were then transported to (airport ground handler) Sats’ cold-chain facility, Coolport, for subsequent storage and ground transportation,” SIA said.The arrival of the Moderna vaccine comes after the first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines were delivered here in December last year.
Chin Yau Seng, SIA’s senior vice-president of cargo, said that the company is glad to play its part in transporting the Covid-19 vaccines “in a secure, reliable and timely manner to support (Singapore’s) national vaccination programmes”.
“Besides today’s delivery of Singapore’s first shipment of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, we have had the privilege of carrying shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines to Indonesia, over the past two months.
“We, together with our partners in the Singapore air hub and across the supply chain, will continue to support this important global effort aimed at taming this pandemic,” Chin said.
Earlier this month, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said that it has granted interim authorisation for the Moderna vaccine, after finding it to be 94 per cent effective. HSA said then that it had reviewed data from preclinical studies, clinical trials in human volunteers, and manufacturing and quality controls.
Two groups of experts from HSA’s medicines advisory committee and panel of infectious diseases experts were consulted during the review to ensure that the vaccine is “safe, efficacious and of good quality based on the data submitted to-date, and that the benefits outweigh the known risks for the Singapore population”. — TODAY